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Organizational behavior trends Essay

Introduction

Organizational success calls for integrity and the ability to make the right decisions at the right time, and this is what defines organizational or corporate culture.  Decision makers are sometimes caught in the dilemma of acting unethically in order to make the organizations to survive or remaining professional and sticking to ethical practices no matter the prevailing situation. Making ethical decisions requires leadership to be apt and to observe professionalism and shun greed. Unless the right business virtues are well integrated in the organizational culture, organizations are faced with an uphill task and can not be effective in meeting their obligations to their stakeholders. Executives, managers and organization leaders have the sole responsibilities for creating and maintaining a customer service oriented culture owing to their power and influence to create such a culture. They are the only ones able to make decisions and communicate the values that are essential to excellent customer service.

According to (Fatt, 1995) most managers’ end up making unethical decisions due to the fear of making wrong decisions.  Ethics influences a leader to either make a wrong or a right decision in the work place.   This is important considering that, the kind of decision made can have

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either a negative or positive impact in the work place. (Fatt, 1995) defines ethical behaviour as simply the kind of behaviour accepted in the work place setting.  Behaviour is considered acceptable if it is morally right depending on the norms and the culture of a place.

The society as well as business organizations abhor and punish unethical behaviour and punishment for unethical behaviour on the part of employees may range from demotion, sacking or penalties.  However if the desire for ethical practices is not well integrated in the organizational culture, organizations are very likely to continue neglecting key cultural considerations which must be consulted before any decision is arrived at. Engaging in unethical business practices therefore influences decision makers to make decisions that are against norms and acceptable professional code of ethics (Fatt, 1995).

On the other hand, making ethical decisions may lead to the organization gaining trust from the public. The decision employees make in the work place are determined by the extent to which the employee adheres to the ethical requirements by the organization.  For instance, an accountant if presented with a dilemma on whether to defraud the organization or not.  Observation of ethics will lead the accountant to desist from defrauding the company because fraud is illegal. On the other hand, an accountant who embraces unethical practices is likely to make the wrong decision of defrauding the organization.  Ethical decisions in the work place range from the decision on the kind of pricing for goods, the kind of compensation a company awards to its employees as well as the general practices a company makes and the impact of such decisions on the company and the public.

Ethics also influences how managers are likely to use the power at their disposal.  While ethical managers are more interested in delegation of duties to the juniors and the empowerment of staff, unethical decision makers often abuse their powers and end up bullying employees instead of nurturing them.  However, some ethical decisions by management may not go down well with those affected by the ethical decisions, for example, retrenching employees in an effort to save the organization from making losses (Fatt, 1995).

Technology is one of the most important resources in an organization.  Technology has become one of the integral parts in the work place.  The most common type of technology in the modern office is information technology.  While technology has been applauded as making work easier, it has become evident that technology in the work place is a leading cause of stress.  According to (Fatt, 1995) over twenty per cent of employees in America consider their work places as a leading cause of stress. Fatt, (1995) defines job related stress as a state whereby an employee experiences physical and emotional responses as a result of an interaction with technology in the work place.  Technology causes stress especially in cases whereby it becomes an impediment to job performance as a result of working with fault or obsolete technology.

Technology related stress has been found to cause disorders or disease such as vision problems which result to poor health for the employees (Hoel, Sparks, & Cooper, 2001). On the other hand, technology can ease or relieve stress caused by other sources such as heavy workload occasioned by manual systems.  For an instance a bank clerk whose filing system is manual may be stressed as a result of spending a lot of time tracing and searching for lost files.  With technology, such as the computerization of the filing system, the clerk will be relieved of the stress associated with the manual system.

To relieve technology related stress, employees are encouraged to take time and relax as well as delegate some of the work to junior staff (Hoel, Sparks, & Cooper, 2001), this can considerably reduce the risk of technology related stress.  Again this is not possible unless such values are well integrated in the organizational culture. How technology is utilized in the organization is determined by how well the management embraces ethical practices in the application of technology. Management should be considerate and therefore desist from investing in technology that is harmful to the employees. Other types of technology in work places such as pagers, Internet, automated machines as well as telephones, can bring about stress or relieve in the work place depending on how well such technology is used in the work place.  Depression results when technology in the work place negatively impacts on employees.

Stakeholder activism, more sophisticated stakeholder engagement, proliferation of codes, standards, indicators and guidelines, accountability throughout the value chain, transparency and reporting growing government interest and action, convergence of CSR and governance agendas, growing investor pressure and market base incentives, advances in information technology, pressure to quantify, Corporate Social Responsibility ‘Return on Investment’ are all key influencers of corporate culture and should always be borne in mind while making key decisions related to organizational management.

In terms of corporate culture and social responsibility, there is a need for division of labour else called work specialization, the manager tries to match the work demands with the skills, knowledge and experience of the employees.  Division of labour is more effective when the most qualified employer by means of skill level and experience is assigned a given task.  The more compatible a worker is to the work process requirements, the greater the extent of possible specialization.

In departmentalization, the manager seeks to group employees or jobs into manageable entities.  This can be done in five ways, (Boone 2005.).  Functional departmentalization is done according to the nature of activities in the department.  Product departmentalization brings together all the functions necessary for successful production and distribution of a particular product.  Process departmentalization is based on the cycles that a product goes through.  The cycles determine the department. Geographical departmentalization uses zones to create a department e.g. Europe as a zone can have processes and workers who affect the Europe market put together in one department.  Customer departmentalization is defined by possession of a shared set of characteristics like the mental hospitals as a source of clients for an establishment working with mentally retarded persons.

Span or control means the manager defines the extent to which the chains of command run and the limit in number of employees within one line of production or level of command.  One employee ought to be accountable to only one supervisor, in what is called the unity of command. In the scalar principle, the line of authority should be clearly outlined for each worker. The manager is also concerned about delegation, which is the transferring of tasks and responsibilities and the issuing of authority commensurate to the tasks assigned to subordinates.  This improves the flexibility of operations meaning the organization is better able to address the needs of its clients, (Boone 2005).

Conclusion

Corporate culture in the organization is important in that, the kind of decisions an organization makes goes along way in determining whether the organizations succeeds or fails in the achievement of its goals and objectives. In as much as technology causes stress in the work place, it is also important in that, it saves employees from engaging in physically strenuous activities and can also improve safety by protecting employees from toxic substances for example the use of robot technology has significantly reduced the physical activities in some industries.  Organizations should invest wisely in technology by considering ethical issues so as to reduce the negative impacts of technology.

References

Boone, E Louis. 2005. Contemporary Business 2006. Thomson South western.

Caywood, C. (1997).The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations& Integrated Communications.

McGraw Hill, New York.

Fatt, S. (1995). Ethics and the Accountant. Journal of Business Ethics.

Hoel, H., Sparks, K. and Cooper, C. (2001) The Cost of Violence/Stress at Work and the Benefits

of a Violence/Stress-Free Working Environment. University of Manchester Institute of

Science and Technology, Report commissioned by the International LabourOffice,

Geneva.

 

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